I watch for her, sweaty children in masks making their way from the clubhouse. Her pink backpack precedes her and I wait, anxious: Did she make it ok? Sid she stay dry? Did she love it? As she turns, her frown confirms my worst fears.
Slowly, she makes her way towards me, her arm juts out, middle finger upturned in my face.
Oh no! I think, Already? She's turned on us already?
It takes a moment for the flesh-coloured bandaid to register. "I got hit," she says. That's a relief!
Fumble. She goes missing for a few minutes in the locker room whilst I wait outside, camera in hand, to take a picture of her with helmet and hurl and smile on her face. I find her crying on the bench inside, knee banged up, all determination and joy gone. We cuddle for awhile, get her helmet fitted, take a couple of very sad photos, then the smile returns.
This picture is for Papa, I say.
The boys and I arrive early to catch a glimpse of our little camogie darling. It is hot as all get-out and it's hard to find her in a sea of small people with caged helmets and green uniforms. Finally we spot her and watch her stand there, walk aimlessly for a bit, and then break out in a dance when her team scores. "Did you see me make a point?!" she asks. "I saw your team get a point, " I say, afraid I'd just burst her bubble. "Oh yeah, that's what I mean!" Joy undeterred. She is pink as a grapefruit.
"I scored 100... no... 1000!" ...Questionable.
We are now both adept enough to get her helmet securely on, and we take action shots for the family back home. I promise to arrive early to catch a few minutes of her last match. But... I get that sinking feeling all parents get when they drive into a parking lot only to see it completely full, knowing that you must've missed something. Sure enough, it's the award ceremony. I spot her in the middle of the huddle, all shiny and exhausted. And when she finds me, I get two big thumbs up.
She is wearing green, white and orange. Her new colours, and one shiny medal.
So this is what we did this week... plus drama workshop, plus grocery runs, plus temper tantrums in car parks, plus sun sun sun. What did your week look like?